- Apple announced the $3,499 Vision Pro, its mixed-reality headset, on Monday during its Worldwide Developers Conference.
- It's Apple's first major new product since 2014.
The Vision Pro will allow users to see apps in a new way, in the spaces around them. Users can use their eyes and hands to navigate through apps and search with their voices. The headset can be used to watch movies, including in 3-D, with spatial audio, view their own pictures or videos, and play video games. It can also be used for work with video conferencing apps, Microsoft Office tools or Adobe Lightroom.
It will be available starting at $3,499 beginning early next year.
Apple stock dropped about 1% after the company unveiled the headset, giving up gains from earlier in the day.
With a feature called EyeSight, the headset can become transparent or opaque to signal to people around the headset user if they're immersed in an experience or available to interact. Spatial audio will make it feel like the user is totally immersed in the experience, including by sensing other items in the room.
The Vision Pro can also create a realistic-looking avatar of a user to use in the experience.
The headset is made to fit different face shapes and sizes with adjustable and interchangeable parts.
The company announced several partnerships for the Vision Pro on stage. Disney CEO Bob Iger appeared on stage to announce that Disney+ would be available on the Vision Pro from day one of its release. Unity stock spiked over 20% and trading was briefly halted after Apple announced a partnership with the game development platform.
Here are some images from Apple's presentation that shows how it works:
This is how the headset looks when a user is available to interact with others in the room.
Apps appear in front of the user, who can look around and gesture to navigate.
Here's what it looks like to view a panorama with the headset.
This is what it would look like to play a video game on the device.
This is what it's like to video conference with the headset.
It can also be used to learn new things in 3-D.
Users can view different windows in front of them like they typically see on a computer screen.
Apple has worked on headset hardware and software since at least 2016 in a division called the Technology Development Group. Monday's launch is the culmination of years of development — some in secret, and some as public-facing groundwork previously released for the iPhone, such as depth-sensing cameras and software.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken at length about the potential of augmented reality that overlays computer graphics onto the real world, saying that the tech could eventually be an everyday device for most people and that its impact could be similar to the invention of the internet.
Apple's VR headset debut comes during a time when the broader virtual reality industry has struggled to meet high expectations for the technology. For now, it's considered to be "mixed reality," or virtual reality that can access the outside world through cameras mounted on the headset.
Monday's launch also opens up a new era of open competition between Apple and Meta, which develops its own virtual reality headsets. Meta said last week that its latest headset model, Quest 3, would be released later this year.